by Fran Jurga | 2 June 2009 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog
The racing publications are reporting that Ronald "Tex" Cauthen of Walton, Kentucky has died. Tex was a well-known horseshoer in central Kentucky and was reportedly 77 years old.
I remember "meeting" Tex Cauthen the first time I walked through the then brand-new Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs in the early 1980s. I held my breath going around each corner, thinking that surely there would be an exhibit about horseshoeing coming ahead.
But there wasn't. Instead, I turned a corner by a stairway and there was a photo, set off by itself, of a farrier's hands, working. I stared at it for a long time because it was a beautiful photograph, and seemed to have been put there just so I wouldn't go home in a huff.
I stared at the name: "Tex Cauthen". I made a mental note to look him up. I felt like I knew him, having met his hands. And the name sort of rang a bell. I must have heard his name before.
I was probably the only person in the world more impressed with the fact that Tex Cauthen was a horseshoer than that he was the father of the world-famous teenage jockey who rode Affirmed to win the Triple Crown. It took me a while to put two and two together.
All the racing magazine stories say that the famous jockey's father died and, oh yes, he was a blacksmith.
Let this be one place where he's remembered for who he was, and for a pair of hands that could stop me in my tracks.
Rest in peace, Tex.
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